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P V Sindhu loses to Carolina Marin in final, ends up with silver

World number one Carolina Marin of Spain overcame a first game loss to outplay India's P. V. Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 in the final and win the gold medal in the badminton women's singles at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro on Friday.

P. V. Sindhu
P. V. Sindhu
World number one Carolina Marin of Spain overcame a first game loss to outplay India's P. V. Sindhu 19-21, 21-12, 21-15 in the final and win the gold medal in the badminton women's singles at the Olympic Games here today.
 
It was Marin almost all the way in the match, barring the later stages of the first game, when Sindhu came from behind at 12-16 to first come up on level and then reel off five points in a row to win at 21-16.
 
But, overall, the 21-year-old was up against a much better player today as the Spaniard played aggressively almost throughout and controlled the proceedings.
 
This was the first time that an Indian had made it to the badminton singles final and the silver that Sindhu won today is an improvement on the bronze won by her teammate Saina Nehwal at the London Olympics in 2012.
 
Sindhu, appearing in her first Olympics, managed to stay level with Marin in the opening minutes but was soon behind at 2-5, 5-9 and then 6-12 as the Spaniard attacked well, both from the baseline and the net, and kept her rival moving all over court.
 
The Indian, however, fought back to narrow the gap at 16-17 but Marin then moved ahead to 19-16 with a powerful shot to Sindhu's backhand. A series of unforced errors by Marin helped Sindhu pull up at 19-19 and the Indian quickly picked up two more points to win at 21-19 before the Spaniard quite realised what had happened. Sindhu had scored five points in a row at that stage, reminding spectators of the manner in which she had reeled off 11 points in a row in the second game of yesterday's semi-final against Nozomi Okuhara of Japan, which she had won 21-19, 21-10.
 
Marin, an amazingly fast mover on the court, appeared more determined in the second game as she quickly jumped to a 4-0 lead, which she widened to 10-2 and then 11-4 before Sindhu could settle down.
 
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Sindhu fought back briefly, defending wll and come up some good shots at the net, to make it 7-14 but Marin, with superb angled shots, beautiful wrist work and deft placements, ensured that she stayed ahead, moving to 18-10 and then sealing the game at 21-12.
 
Marin began the decider on an aggressive note, grabbing a 7-4 lead. Again, Sindhu clawed her way back into the game by equalising at 10-10. The two players crossed over with Marin having a slender 11-10 advantage.
 
Sindhu kept up the fight but could not quite catch up and was behind at 14-16 from where Marin managed six points in a row to end up with six match points and prevailed finally at 21-15 to win the gold -- the first European woman to achieve the distinction in badminton at the Olympics. Sindhu is the first Indian woman to win a silver at the Olympics.
 
Sindhu has, in the process, become the fourth Indian to win an Olympic siver. The first was shooter Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore in 2004, followed by shooter Vijay Kumkar and wrestler Sushil Kumar, both in 2008.
 
The silver helped India to move up to the 57th place in the medals tally table.
 
“I played well. I wanted to win, but I could not," Sindhu said after the match. “I am proud of what I have achieved.  Silver is no  mean achievement in  the Olympics."
 
“It was a tough encounter  and I gave my best," Sindhu said. “Marin is a very good player she played well. I tried to stop her in the third, but could not but I am not complaining.
 
“Every player wants to win and, in my heart of hearts, I was also thinking that only one match is left for the gld but that  turned out to be elusive.
 
“Never mind, it was a good match. I never thought I will ever play in the Olympic final. I am happy with the silver I got," she added.
 
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ICC World T20: New Zealand stun India by 47 runs

New Zealand pulled off a stunning 47-run win over hosts India in the first group stage match of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium at Nagpur on Tuesday night.

 
New Zealand stun India, win by 47 runs
 
New Zealand pulled off a stunning 47-run win over hosts India in the first group stage match of the ICC World Twenty20 tournament at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium here tonight.
 
The hosts appeared to have done well when they restricted New Zealand to 126 for seven in their 20 overs after the Kiwis' skipper Kane Williamson won the toss and opted to bat first.
 
But they then managed to bowl out the Indians for just 79 in 18.1 overs to maintain their all-win record against India in T20 internationals, winning all the five matches they have met in so far. The shabby batting performance by the Indians was clearly no match for the might of the New Zealand bowling today.
 
Chasing what appeared to be an easy target, both the Indian openers departed under 10 runs. Shikhar Dhawan (1) was the first to go, trapped leg before wicket by Nathan McCullum.
 
Rohit Sharma followed him in the third over after making just five runs. He tried to take on Mitchell Santer, only to be removed by a stumping by Luke Ronchi. Suresh Raina (1) followed him into the pavilion in the same over. The south paw tried to flick the ball past mid-wicket only to play it too high and was caught by a waiting Martin Guptill at short mid-wicket.
 
Circumstances turned worse when Yuvraj Singh (4) followed within the power play, giving a return catch to Mccullum. Kohli who tried to build the innings with skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni departed at the start of the ninth over.
 
By this time India were 39/5 and had bleak hopes of regaining control of the match.
 
Soon the rest of the tail tumbled for a feeble 79/10 in 18.1 overs. Except Dhoni (30), Kohli (23) and Ravichandran Ashwin (10), none of the other batsmen could cross into double digits.
 
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The New Zealnd bowlers had a great day in the field with the ball. Slow-left-arm bowler Santer topped the bowling chart with figures of four for 11 with an economy of 2.75. This was backed up by Ish Sodhi who clamed three wickets for 18 in his four overs. Santer was chosen Player of the Match.
 
Earlier, things did not appear to be going to well for the Kiwis as they made first use of the pitch.
 
Opener Guptill smashed the first ball of the match from Ashwin for a straight six. But the off-spinner got even two balls later, trapping the batsman leg before wicket.
 
Colin Munro, who replaced him, departed after making just seven an over later, top-edging Ashish Nehra's ball to wide mid-on.
 
From then on, the Indian bowling attack struck home in terms of both picking up wickets at regular intervals and also restricting the Kiwis' run tally. 
 
Both Raina and Ravindra Jadeja completed their four overs with figures of one for 15 as the Indians came up with a good all-round perfomrnance in the field.
 
Dhoni took a catch off Jadeja and did a stumping as well and two brilliant runouts by Raina and Dhawan added to New Zealand's woes.
 
Corey Anderson stood out in the batting order, scoring 34 runs, and Luke Ronchi  scored 21 off 11 balls to take the side's total to 126 for seven at the end of 20 overs.
 
Scoreboard:
New Zealand innings (20 overs maximum)
MJ Guptill lbw b Ashwin 6
KS Williamson st Dhoni b Raina 8
C Munro c Pandya b Nehra 7
CJ Anderson b Bumrah 34
LRPL Taylor run out (Raina) 10
MJ Santner c †Dhoni b Jadeja 18
GD Elliott run out (Dhawan/Nehra) 9
L Ronchi not out 21
NL McCullum not out 0
Extras (b 4, lb 3, w 6) 13
Total (7 wickets; 20 overs) 126 (6.30 runs per over)
Did not bat: AF Milne, IS Sodhi
Fall of wickets: 1-6 (Guptill, 0.2 ov), 2-13 (Munro, 1.3 ov), 3-35 (Williamson, 6.5 ov), 4-61 (Taylor, 11.3 ov), 5-89 (Anderson, 15.4 ov), 6-98 (Santner, 16.4 ov), 7-114 (Elliott, 19.3 ov)
Bowling
R Ashwin 4 0 32 1
A Nehra 3 1 20 1
JJ Bumrah 4 0 15 1
SK Raina 4 0 16 1
RA Jadeja 4 0 26 1
HH Pandya 1 0 10 0
 
India innings (target: 127 runs from 20 overs)
RG Sharma st Ronchi b Santner 5
S Dhawan lbw b McCullum 1
V Kohli c Ronchi b Sodhi 23
SK Raina c Guptill b Santner 1
Yuvraj Singh c & b McCullum 4
MS Dhoni c McCullum b Santner 30
HH Pandya lbw b Santner 1
RA Jadeja c & b Sodhi 0
R Ashwin st Ronchi b Sodhi 10
A Nehra b Milne 0
JJ Bumrah not out 0
Extras (w 3, nb 1) 4
Total (all out; 18.1 overs) 79 (4.34 runs per over)
Fall of wickets: 1-5 (Dhawan, 0.5 ov), 2-10 (Sharma, 2.2 ov), 3-12 (Raina, 2.5 ov), 4-26 (Yuvraj Singh, 4.5 ov), 5-39 (Kohli, 8.1 ov), 6-42 (Pandya, 9.4 ov), 7-43 (Jadeja, 10.2 ov), 8-73 (Ashwin, 16.3 ov), 9-79 (Dhoni, 17.4 ov), 10-79 (Nehra, 18.1 ov)
Bowling
NL McCullum 3 0 15 2
CJ Anderson 3 0 18 0
MJ Santner 4 0 11 4
GD Elliott 2 0 9 0
AF Milne 2.1 0 8 1
IS Sodhi 4 0 18 3
 
Toss - New Zealand, who chose to bat
Points - New Zealand 2, India 0
Player of the match - MJ Santner (New Zealand)
 
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SC appoints Gavaskar to oversee IPL as interim BCCI chief, Yadav to handle other functions

The Supreme Court on Friday appointed former Indian cricket skipper Sunil Gavaskar as interim president of the BCCI to oversee the IPL in place of incumbent N Srinivasan, who has stepped aside till the completion of the inquiry into allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the Twenty20 tournament.

 
BCCI counsel welcomes SC verdict
The Supreme Court today appointed former Indian cricket skipper Sunil Gavaskar as interim president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to oversee the Indian Premier League (IPL) in place of incumbent N Srinivasan, who has stepped aside till the completion of the inquiry into allegations of betting and spot-fixing in the Twenty20 tournament.
 
The apex court also said that all other functions of the BCCI president would be handled by another former cricketer, Shivlal Yadav, who is the seniormost vice-president of the BCCI. He represents the South Zone, the zone represented by Mr Srinivasan.
 
The court also allowed the two teams, Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rajasthan Royals (RR), to participate in the seventh season of IPL beginning April 16. Both teams are being investigated for alleged involvement in the betting and spot-fixing scandal.
 
A two-judge bench comprising Mr Justice A K Patnaik and Mr Justice Fakkir Mohamed Ibrahim Kalifulla posted the matters before them, arising out of two petitions, for further hearing to April 16 and noted that it would take some more days after that for the hearing to be completed and for judgement to be delivered.
 
They noted that Mr Srinivasan had made a written offer through his counsel that, till investigation into which the allegations against him is completed, he will not discharge any of the functions of the post.
 
Senior counsel Harish Salve, appearing for the Cricket Association of Bihar in one of the petitions, had submitted that no further investigation into the allegations against Mr. Srinivasan is necessary as the findings of the Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee, appointed by the court, and the materials relied on by the said committee for the findings were sufficient for the court to remove Mr. Srinivasan from the post of BCCI president as prayed in the petition before the Bombay High Court.
 
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"As we are yet to hear all the parties in these matters, we cannot at this stage form any opinion and pass orders on the basis of such opinion for removal of Mr. Srinivasan from the post of the President of the BCCI. 
 
"The IPL 2014 is, however, scheduled to commence on 16th April, 2014 and we have to pass interim orders to ensure that all those who love cricket continue to watch cricket in IPL 2014 and the matches are played by the players in accordance with the IPL Rules," the judges said.
 
"Considering the fact that Mr. Sunil Gavaskar was a cricket player of great repute and eminence, a captain of the Indian cricket team for a long period and has a wide experience in cricket related activities and of men and matters, we appoint him, as an interim measure, to function as and exercise
the powers of the President of the BCCI in relation to the IPL, 2014 till we hear and deliver the judgment in these matters. We make it clear that
with regard to all other matters of BCCI, the senior most Vice-President of the BCCI, Mr. Shiv Lal Yadav, will discharge the functions of the President of the
BCCI. 
 
"We also direct that till we deliver the judgment, none of the employees of India Cement Limited or its associate companies (except cricket players or commentators) will perform any of the duties assigned to them by the BCCI and the Interim President, Mr. Sunil Gavaskar, will have power to engage the services of such persons on whom he has confidence for work in connection with the IPL 2014," the order said.
 
The court said that it was upto Mr Gavaskar to decide as to whether Mr Sundar Raman, also an employee of India Cement, Should continue as Chief Operating Officer of IPL or not.
 
"In case of any difficulty, Mr. Gavaskar may apply to this Court for appropriate orders," the judges said.
 
They also said that Mr Gavaskar would not work as a commentator during this period as an interim president of the BCCI in relation to IPL matters, and that he would be adequately compensated for the loss of income by the BCCI.
 
The compensation amount would be determined after the court resumes hearing in the matter on April 16.
 
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"We make it clear that we have not passed any order preventing any player or any team from participating in the IPL Tournament 2014," the court added.
 
The Supreme Court had on Tuesday said that Mr Srinivasan should step aside till the IPL probe is over and given it time until yesterday to come up with a proposal in this regard.
 
The BCCI yesterday told the court that Mr Srinivasan was willing to do so and that it was keen that the probe be completed expeditiously so that the whole episode could be put behind and it could move forward.
 
The Supreme Court proposed yesterday that Mr Srinivasan should step down and an eminent cricketer such as Mr Gavaskar be appointed in his place till it gave its final verdict in the IPL case.
 
It had also proposed that CSK and RR should not be part of IPL 7 and that no peson associated with India Cements, the company headed by Mr Srinivasan, should be allowed to function in any capacity in the BCCI.
 
The court had given the BCCI time until today to consider the proposals before it gave its interim order in the matter.
 
In the orders issued today, CSK and RR were allowed to participate in the tournament. 
 
The decision to ask Mr Yadav to handle the duties of the president of BCCI, other than those related to IPL, is in keeping with its rules which require that its head should be a member of the body.
 
Mr Srinivasan is the Vice-Chairman and Managing Director of India Cements, which owns CSK, one of the eight teams in the tournament.
 
His son-in-law Gurunath Meiyappan, who was a member of the CSK team management, was arrested by the Mumbai Police in May 2013 as part of their probe into alleged spot-fixing and betting in the sixth season of IPL.
 
Indian skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is also the captain of CSK, is a senior employee of India Cements, as are some others associated with IPL and BCCI.
 
Mr Srinivasan had last year stepped aside as the BCCI chief to facilitate the investigations into the allegations, but was, on September 29, 2013 re-elected to the position.
 
The Justice Mukul Mudgal Committee's report, which was handed over to the Supreme Court on February 10 this year, is understood to have said that the allegations against Mr Meiyappan needed to be probed further.
 
The court had appointed the committee on October 8 last year to investigate the alleged scam.
 
Some players of Rajasthan Royals, including Indian bowler S Sreesanth, had been arrested for their alleged role in the spot-fixing scam.
 
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India bags 4 more golds, slides to 3rd place in medals table

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India bagged up four more gold medals - 3 in boxing and 1 in table tennis - as it raised its tally to 36 golds but dropped to third place in the medals table in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Wednesday.

India's Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha after winning the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 13, 2010.
India's Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha after winning the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 13, 2010.

Indian boxers Paramjeet Samota, Manoj Kumar and Suranjoy Mayengbam and men's table tennis pair of Sharat Kamal Achanta and Subhajit Saha picked up gold medals as the hosts raised their tally to 36 gold medals on the penultimate day of the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.

The hosts, however, found themselves pushed to third place in the medals table, with 36 golds, 26 silvers and 34 bronzes.

England pushed past them to the second slot with 37 golds, 56 silvers and 45 bronzes while Australia was unassailable at the top with 72 golds, 50 silvers and 47 bronzes.

The day also brought some shame for the home contingent with athlete Rani Yadav, who had competed in the women's 20 km walk, testing positive for a banned substance during an anti-doping test. She has been suspended from the Games, pending the result of a B sample test in the next 48 hours.

Samota capped India's best-ever showing in boxing at the Commonwealth Games as he outpointed Tariq Abdul Haqq of Trinidad and Tobago 5-1 in the men's heavy weight (91 kg) event in the final bout of competition this evening.

The Indian, who had bagged the bronze at the Asian Championships in Zhuhai, China last year, dominated the bout from the word go. He was leading 3-0 in the first round and increased it to 5-0 by the ed of the second, finishing with a 5-1 decision.

Before him, Manoj Kumar upset the more experienced Bradley Saunders of England in the light welterweight (64 kg) category 11-2. Saunders is a European Championships gold medallist.

Kumar, 24, worked up a 4-1 lead after the first round and widened it further to 8-1 going into the last round.

Earlier, Suranjoy won his flyweight (52kg) bout by walkover when Benson Njangiru of Kenya pulled out with a wrist injury.

India ended the competition with three gold and four bronze medals. Northern Ireland won three gold and England two, while Scotland and Sri Lanka took one each. This was India's best showing in boxing in the Commonwealth Games. They had won one gold each in 2002 and 2006.

Top-seeded Achanta and Saha sent the crowd at the packed Yamuna Sports Complex into raptures as they beat second-seeded Gao Ning and Yang Zi of Singapore 9-11, 12-10, 11-4, 5-11, 11-8 in the final of the men's doubles event in table tennis.

The Singapore dictated the pace in the early stages and wrapped up the first set 11-9. But the crowd egged the local pair on and Achanta and Saha played brilliantly to take the next two sets 12-10 and 11-4. Gao and Yang took the match into a fifth set by winning the fourth 11-5 before Achanta and Saha settled the issue by winning the next set 11-8.

This is the first time that India has won the gold medal in the men's doubles in table tennis at the Commonwealth Games.

"In 2006 we went out of competition as underdogs. No one recognised us in the men's doubles competition in 2006. I was full of pride, so happy that I was finally able to do it. The government and our country has helped us a lot and the best way we can repay them is with a win today. Our aim was that our flag should fly high and we accomplished it," he said.

About his loss in the men's singles semi-finals to Yang earlier in the day, he said, "I lost the match today with close points. The competition was really tough. I wasn't able to forget my defeat today. It was really a hard phase today. I had just three hours to get rid of the thought that I was defeated today."

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India grab 6 more golds to take Games tally to 20, stay in 2nd place

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India won 6 more golds - 3 in shooting, 2 in wrestling and 1 in archery - to take its tally to 20 and retain the second slot in the medals table at the XIX Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Friday,

India's Dola Banerjee, Deepika Kumari and Bombayala Devi after winning the gold medal in archery in the women;s team recurve event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.
India's Dola Banerjee, Deepika Kumari and Bombayala Devi after winning the gold medal in archery in the women;s team recurve event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.

India won six more golds - three in shooting, two in wrestling and one in archery - to take its tally to 20 and retain the second slot in the medals table on the fifth day of competitions in the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.


The hosts have so far managed 20 golds, 16 silvers and 12 bronzes. Australia are at the top of the table with 47 golds, 24 silvers and 27 bronzes, while England remained in the third place with 19 golds, 37 silvers and 20 bronzes.


The day started on a happy note for India with the trio of Deepika Kumari, Dola Banerjee and Bombayala Devi Laishram coming from behind to stun England 207-206 and taking the top slot in the Women's Team Recurve event in archery.


A little later, ace shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan won the gold in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event.


Their compatriot Vijay Kumar, 25, set a new Games Final Record to win gold, notching up 787.5 points in the Singles 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Men event. He had earlier broken his own Games Qualification Record with a score of 583 points.


Alka Tomar defeated Tonya Verbeek of Canada in the 59 kg Women's Freestyle wrestling event at the Indira Gandhi Sports Complex.


She was followed by Anita, who beat Megan Buydens of Canada in the final of the 67 kg Women's Freestyle to take the gold.


"I've been through two months of hard training. After this win I'm more confident for future events like that," she said later.


India got their sixth gold medal of the day when shooter Omkar Singh won the Singles 10m Air Pistol Men with a score of 681.8. Bin Gai of Singapore took the silver with 676.2 while Daniel Repacholi of Australia got the bronze with 674.


Omkar Singh had picked up the gold in the company of Gurpreet Singh in the Men's 10m Air Pistol Pairs, notching up 1163 points for a new Games record. On Wednesday, he had won the Men's 50m Pistol Singles and taken the silver in the Men's 50m Pistol Pairs with Deepak Sharma on Tuesday.


Ashish Kumar, who won a bronze in the Men's Floor Exercise yesterday to earn for India its first ever medal in Gymnastics in the Commonwealth Games, won the silver in the men's vault today.


"I am disappointed at not getting the gold medal, but at least I have the experience of competing at this level. My first vault was the highest, but on the second I lost it," he said later.


Gymnast Ashish Kumar
Gymnast Ashish Kumar

The gold went to England's Luke Fowell, who had a score of 15.762 points. Kumar scored 16.150 points on his first attempt but then got a disappointing 14.475 on his second vault for an overall tally of 15.312. Ian Galvan of Canada got the bronze with a score of 15.037.


India had never won a medal in gymnastics before yesterday at the Olympics, World Championships or the Commonwealth Games.


Gurpreet Singh, who had won two golds yesterday in the Men's 25m Rapid Fire Pistol Pairs and 10m Air Pistol Pairs, won the bronze in the event. Malaysia's Hasli Izwan Amir Hassan took the silver with a score of 760.3.


Manavjit Singh Sandhu and Mansher Singh grabbed silver in the Men's Trap Pairs event in shooting with a score of 197. The gold went to Australian pair Michael Diamond and Adam Vella, who notched up 198 for a new Games record.


In tennis, India were assured of a gold or silver in both the men's and women's singles with top seed Somdev Devvarman and Sania Mirza winning their semi-final matches today.


Devvarman beat Australia's Matt Ebden 6-3, 6-1 and will meet Greg Jones, also of Austrlia, in the final on Sunday.


Mirza dropped a set but then staged a strong comeback in front of a partisan home crowd on Central Court to prevail 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 over Olivia Rogowska of Australia. She will meet the winner of the other semi-final between two Australians, Anastasia Rodionova and Sally Peers.


"That was a fantastic win. My heart is beating really fast. It hasn't sunk in," Mirza said after the match.


"I'm happy with the way I fought because in the match I didn't play that well. I knew I just needed to fight and come up with something different. I just had to hang in there," she said.


There was disappointment for the home crowds in the men's doubles with Rohan Bopanna and Devvarman going down 6-3, 3-6, 4-6 to Ross Hutchins and Ken Skupski of England and Mahesh Bhupati and Leander Paes losing 2-6, 2-6 to Paul Hanley and Peter Luczak of Australia in the semi-finals.


India's Rahul Banerjee and Tarundeep Rai won the bronze in the Men's Team Recurve in archery today, beating England for the third position.


In wrestling, Babita Kumari of India had to settle for silver in the women's freestyle 51 kg event after losing the final to Ifeoma Christi Nwoye of Nigeria in the final.


The Indian women's hockey team drubbed Trinidad and Tobago 7-0 after losing 1-2 to Australia yesterday.


In boxing, Jai Bhagwan thrashed Nasser Mafuru of Tanzania 11-2 in the lightweight (60 kg) and Dilbag Singh beat Aaron Prince of Trinidad and Tobago 11-3 in the welterweight (69 kg).


India lost to New Zealand in the women's pairs of the lawn bowls competition and found themselves pushed to fifth place and unlikely to make the play-offs.


In squash, Anwesha Reddy of India beat Zephanie Curgenven of Guernsey 11-5, 11-5 5-11, 6-11, 11-6 in the women's singles Consolation Plate Final at the Siri Fort Sports Complex.


Shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan of India after winning the gold medal in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.
Shooters Gagan Narang and Imran Hasan Khan of India after winning the gold medal in the Pairs 50m Rifle 3 Positions Men event at the XIX Commonwealth Games in New Delhi on October 8, 2010.

For shooter Narang, it was his third gold medal of the meet so far and the second in the pairs. He had earlier won the men's 10m Air Rifle Pairs event along with Abhinav Bindra and then in the 10m Air Rifle Men's Singles event.


In the process, Narang became the fifth person to win seven gold medals in shooting in the Commonwealth Games. He is the first male athlete to win three gold medals at the current edition of the Games in Delhi.


Narang and Khan finished with a tally of 2325, a Games record, to beat James Huckle and Kenny Parr of England, who had a total of 2308 in the finals at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting range.


At the Yamuna Sports Complex, the England women archers had maintained a slender lead for most of the tie today but found themselves in a position where they needed to score 15 points with just two arrows left to overtake the Indians.


Amy Oliver managed only six with her last shot and Alison Williamson needed a 10 off her final arrow but hit an eight to hand the Indian team the gold.


India's compound archers had won a silver in the men's and a bronze in the women's team events yesterday.


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India grabs 5 golds to climb to 2nd spot in medals tally at Commonwealth Games

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India grabbed five gold medals to climb to the second spot in the medals tally behind Australia at the end of the second day of competitions in the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on Tuesday.

Shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang after winning the first gold for India at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.
Shooters Abhinav Bindra and Gagan Narang after winning the first gold for India at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.

India grabbed five gold medals -- with two pairs of shooters hitting the bull's eye and wrestlers snatching all three titles at stake -- to climb to the second spot in the medals tally behind Australia at the end of the second day of competitions in the XIX Commonwealth Games here today.

The hosts started the day on a bright note as Beijing Olympics gold medalist Abhinav Bindra and world record holder Gagan Narang won the first gold of the Games for them in the men's 10 m Air Rifle Pairs at the Dr Karni Singh Shooting Range.

They shot a total of 1,193 out of a maximum 1,200 points to snatch victory. Bindra scored 595 while Narang scored 598.

Shortly afterwards, Rahi Sarnobat and Anisa Sayeed set a Games record of 1,156 points to win gold in the women's 25 m Pistol Pairs.

The action then shifted to the wrestling arena at the Indira Gandhi Stadium, where in the men's Greco-Roman style, Ravinder Singh, Sanjay and Anil Kumar snatched gold in their respective categories.

Ravinder beat England's Christopher Terence Bosson 7-2 in the 60 kg category after which Sanjay prevailed over Brian Richard Addinall 2-0 in the 74 kg category. Anil Kumar brought more cheers for the home team by outperforming Hassene Fkiri of Australia 6-0 in the final of the 96 kg category.

India's medals haul today also included two silvers won by Deepak Sharma and Omkar Singh in the men's 50 m pistol pairs event and Tejaswini Sawant and Lajjakumari Gauswami in the 50 m rifle 3 position.

India's tally now stands at 5 golds, 4 silvers and 2 bronzes. India's women lifters Sonia Chanu and Sandhya Rani Devi gave India their first two medals - a silver and a bronze in the 48 kg class yesterday, followed by a silver and bronze by their male counterparts Sukhen Dey and V Srinivasa Rao in the 56 kg class.

In shooting, Sarnotbat achieved an average of 9.733 points while Sayeed averaged 9.533 in the session. For India, it was the second successive gold in this event, having won in the Melbourne Games in 2006, too.

Australia's Linda Ryan and Lalita Yauhleuskaya bagged silver with 1,146 points while Gorgs Geikie and Julia Lydall of England took the bronze with 1,122 points.

Onkar Singh and Deepak Sharma won a silver for India in the 50 m Air Pistol Pair event.

In the men's 10 m Air Rifle Pairs event, James Huckle and Kenny Parr of England took the silver with 1,174 points while Hel Abdullah Baki and Asif Hossain Khan of Bangladesh got the bronze with 1,173 points.

With today's victory, Bindra completed a treble in the event, having won golds earlier at the Manchester Commonealth Games in 2002 and at Melbourne in 2006. It was his fourth gold medal in shooting in the Games.

For Narang, it was his fifth gold medal in the Commonwealth Games, having won gold in the last three editions.

Bindra and Narang today broke their own Games record of 1,189 set in Melbourne four years ago.

India's badminton star Saina Nehwal in action against Mariama Ayanna Eastmond of Barbados in the team event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.
India's badminton star Saina Nehwal in action against Mariama Ayanna Eastmond of Barbados in the team event at the Commonwealth Games in Delhi on October 5, 2010.

Narang notched a sequence of 99, 100, 100, 99, 100, 100 while Bindra ended up with a series of 100, 98, 99, 100, 99, 99

In tennis, top seed Somdev Devvarman of India won 6-4, 6-2 in his opening match against Devin Mullings of the Bahamas but he looked ill at ease. "I was a little nervous. I did well to come back," he told reporters latr.

"Playing in India is a special feeling. It doesn't matter what seed you are. When you're playing something as big as this, it's a lot more special. You win for your country, then yourself," he added.

In the men's doubles, top seeded Leander Paes and Mahesh Bhupathi of India cruised into the last eight with a 6-3, 6-3 victory over Thangarajah Dineshkanthan and Amresh Jayawickreme in the first round.

In the women's doubles, Nirupama Sanjeev and Poojashree reached the quarter-finals with a 6-0, 6-1 win over Aminath Irufa Mahir and Aminath Maleela Solih of the Maldives.

In archery, top seed Rahul Banerjee and Jayanta Talukdar of India reached the last eight in the men's recurve as did Deepika Kumari and Dola Banerjee in the women's event.

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Cabinet approves revamped Khelo India Programme

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The Union Cabinet today approved the revamped Khelo India programme at a cost of Rs. 1,756 crore for the period 2017-18 to 2019-20.
 
The programme aims at mainstreaming sport as a tool for individual development, community development, economic development and national development, an official press release said.
 
The revamped Khelo India Programme would impact the entire sports ecosystem, including infrastructure, community sports, talent identification, coaching for excellence, competition structure and sports economy, it said.
 
Some of the salient features of the programme includes a Pan Indian Sports Scholarship scheme, which would cover 1,000 most talented young athletes each year across select sports disciplines. Each athlete selected under the scheme shall receive an annual scholarship worth Rs 5 lakh for 8 consecutive years.
 
The release said that this is the first time that a long-term athlete development pathway will be made available to gifted and talented youngsters to excel in competitive sports. It will create a pool of highly competitive athletes who can compete to win on the world stage, it said.
 
According to the release, the programme aims to promote 20 universities across the country as hubs of sporting excellence. It would enable talented sportspersons to pursue the dual pathway of education and competitive sports. It also aims at creating an active population with a healthy lifestyle.
 
The release said the programme would cover about 200 million children in the age group of 10-18 under a massive national physical fitness drive, which will not only measure the physical fitness of all children in the age group but also support their fitness-related activities.
 
As far as the impact is concerned, the power of sport in promoting gender equity and social inclusiveness is fully recognized and special measures are provided for to achieve these objectives. The programme also aims at engaging the youth living in disturbed and deprived areas, in sporting activities. Thus, it would be possible to wean them away from unproductive and disruptive activities and bring them into the mainstream for the nation-building process.
 
The programme strives to raise the standards of competition, both at school and college level, to have maximum access to organized sports competitions.
 
It also includes the use of latest user-friendly technology in all aspects of sports promotion such as the use of mobile apps for the dissemination of sports training; National Sports Talent Search portal for talent identification; an interactive website for indigenous sports; GIS-based information system for locating and using sports infrastructure, and so on. The programme strives to promote “Sports for All” as well as “Sports for Excellence.”
 
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Elite athletes preparing for Tokyo Olympics, Asian Games, Commonwealth games to get stipend of Rs. 50,000 pm

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The Government today said it had decided to pay a stipend of Rs. 50,000 per month to elite athletes preparing for the Tokyo Olympics, Asian Games or Commonwealth Games to meet pocket expenses.
 
The decision has been taken on the recommendation of the Olympic Task Force, which the Government has accepted, an official press release said.
 
The Government has selected 152 elite athletes under the Target Olympic Podium (TOP) scheme. All the athletes will get benefit from this decision. The stipend will be paid with effect from 1st September, 2017.
 
Further, Government is getting in touch with all the athletes selected under TOP to get training and competition exposure plan and any further assistance required for preparation for prestigious competitions, the release added.
 
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Financial assistance to Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust from NSDF

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The Department of Sports has granted a financial assistance of up to Rs. 5 crore as grant from the National Sports Development Fund (NSDF) to Abhinav Bindra Foundation Trust (ABFT) to purchase certain state-of-the-art sports science equipment to establish and operate a high-performance facility for rehabilitation, fitness-training and sports science facility at the Centre at the Padukone-Dravid Centre for Sports Excellence, Bengaluru.
 
The facility will be named as the “Sports Authority of India (SAI)-Abhinav Bindra Targeting Performance Centre.”
 
Indian athletes who are selected for training in Indian National Camps will utilise the equipment and services at the centre free of cost.
 
An agreement to this effect was signed here yesterday between SAI and ABFT represented by, DDG SAI Sandip Pradhan and renowned shooter Abhinav Bindra in the presence of the Minister of State for Youth Affairs & Sports Col. Rajyavardhan Rathore (Retd.) and Secretary (Sports) and DG, SAI, Injeti Srinivas.
 
Bindra had won a gold medal in the 2008 Olympics in Beijing to become the first Indian to win gold in an individual event.
 
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Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne appointed Chief Coach of Indian men's hockey team

Sjoerd Marijne
Sjoerd Marijne
Dutchman Sjoerd Marijne has been appointed as the Chief Coach of the Indian men's hockey team, succeeding fellow Dutchman Roelant Oltmans, who was sacked by Hockey India on September following the country's poor showing at the World League Semi-Final in June this year. 
 
Marijne, 43, was until now the Chief Coach of the Indian women's team and he will be succeeded in that position by Dronacharya awardee Harendra Singh, a press release from Hockey India said.
 
Marijne is currently in Holland for the Europe Tour which begins today and will take over his new assignment on his return to India. He was appointed as Chief Coach of the Indian women’s team in February this year. He is the eighth foreign coach of the Indian men's team in the last decade.
 
Under him, the women's team won the World League Round 2 as well as the five-match series against Belarus. In the most recent outing, the team finished 8th in the World League Semi Final in Johannesburg. 
 
“Firstly, I would like to thank the Hon’ble Minister of State for Youth Affairs and Sports Mr. Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore for his swift action on appointing the new Chief Coach for the Indian Men’s Team as well as appointing the Chief Coach for the Indian Women’s Team. His timely action will help the teams prepare well for the upcoming all-important Asia Cup in October,”  Md. Mushtaque Ahmad, Secretary General, Hockey India, said.
 
He was confident that Marijne and Harendra Singh in their new roles will help Indian hockey grow to its desired heights.
 
“I congratulate both Sjoerd Marijne and Harendra Singh. While Sjoerd is young and dynamic, has coached both the Netherlands U21 Mens Team and Senior Women's Team, Harendra too comes with plenty of coaching experience and the highlight of his career was winning the Junior Men’s World Cup last year. We at Hockey India are confident the duo will work to the best of their abilities to bring glory to Indian hockey,” he added.
 
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“I’m excited to take the new role and thank Hockey India for showing their confidence in my abilities,” said Marijne. 
 
Harendra Singh said, “After the Junior World Cup success, I am excited to take up this new role with the Women’s Team and would like to thank Hockey India for considering me for the new assignment.”
 
The decisions were taken at the Joint Committee Meeting of Sports Authority of India (SAI) and Hockey India (HI) held at SAI here yesterday.
 
Harendra Singh was also the Chief Coach of the Senior Men's hockey team from 2008 to 2009 and national coach from 2009 to 2010. He is a Level III certified coach. Mr Harendra Singh will take over the new responsibility shortly.
 
Oltmans, 63, was appointed as the chief coach of the Indian men's team in July 2015 after fellow Dutchman Paul van Ass was removed five months after taking charge.
 
Oltmans, who was then working with Hockey India as its high performance director, had earlier coached the Netherlands to the Olympic gold medal in 1996 and the World Cup title two years later.
 
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Star India wins Vivo IPL global media digital rights for Rs. 16,347.50 crore

Sports broadcaster Star India today won the Vivo Indian Premier League's (IPL) global media and digital broadcast rights for the five-year period from 2018 to 2022. 
 
The rights were won by Star India through an Invitation to Tender (ITT) bidding process with a winning global consolidated bid of Rs. 16,347.50 crore. 
 
As many as 14 bids were received earlier in the morning from beIN IP Ltd., Star India Pvt. Ltd., Followon Interactive Media Pvt. Ltd, Sony Pictures Networks Pvt. Ltd., Times Internet Ltd, Supersport International (Pty) Ltd., Reliance Jio Digital Services Pvt. Ltd., Gulf DTH FZ LLC, Econet Media Ltd., Facebook Inc., DAZN / Perform Group, Yupp TV, Airtel and BAM Tech.
 
C K Khanna, Acting President, BCCI said, “We are happy to announce Star India as our new global media and digital partner. We thank all the bidders that participated in the process. We have ensured that transparency of the highest form was maintained throughout the process. I would like to thank cricketers and franchises for making the league one of the eminent sporting leagues in the world. I would also like to thank all the fans for showing their continuous support for the Vivo IPL for the last 10 years.”
 
Amitabh Choudhary, Acting Secretary, BCCI said, “We welcome Star India on board as our broadcast and digital partner. Cricket as a sport has evolved over the years, and today’s bids were a reiteration of Vivo IPL’s growing global popularity.”
 
Uday Shankar, Chairman & CEO, Star India, said, "We are honoured to be selected as IPL's Global Media Rights Partner and we thank BCCI for conducting such a transparent process. The Vivo Indian Premier League is undoubtedly one of the most exciting sporting leagues in the world and this acquisition of media rights reaffirms our commitment to serve cricket fans and make cricket even bigger than it is. We are delighted that, in Star, IPL has found its natural home. We look forward to bringing this exciting format to our audiences across the world in a quality that all our viewers are accustomed to both on television as well as on digital on Hotstar."
 
“At Star India, we believe that Indian sports have barely scratched the surface of its potential. Both the viewership of sports and more importantly participation in sports is something that we would like to grow substantially over the next few years. The acquisition of these rights is symbolic of our commitment to not just cricket but to the growth of a wider sports culture in the country," he added.
 
Rahul Johri, CEO, BCCI said, "We are grateful to the Supreme Court, the Committee of Administrators and the office bearers of BCCI. We are also thankful to Deloitte and our legal partners Cyril Amarchand Mangaldas for their support in carrying out a fair and transparent bidding process efficiently. We would like to welcome Star India on board as our IPL Global Media and Digital partner, we believe this is a global benchmark and all the stakeholders of IPL will significantly benefit from this association with Star India."
 
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Hockey India sacks Roelant Oltmans as chief coach of Indian men's team

Roelant Oltmans
Roelant Oltmans
Hockey India (HI) today sacked the chief coach of the Indian men's team, Roelant Oltmans following the country's poor showing at the World League Semi-Final in June this year.
 
The decision was taken at the three-day meeting of the Hockey India High Performance and Development Committee, which concluded here today. The committee assessed and took decisions on the way forward and for the long-term successs of Indian hockey, a press release issued by Hockey india said.
 
"Key decisions taken included Chief Coach Roelant Oltmans to step down," the release said.
 
"While Roelant Oltmans role as Chief Coach in improving the teams’ overall fitness and cohesiveness has been appreciated, the results are what matter and the performance of the team has not been consistent or up to the desired levels," the committee said.
 
High Performance Director Director David John will take charge in the interim till a suitable replacement is found for a smooth transition of the Indian men's team, it said.
 
The committee said the Director High Performance and Hockey India Selection Committee will be required to perform a detailed assessment of all the senior core probables, with those that have reached their peak performance to make way for younger talent. "The ray of hope shown via noteworthy performance of a much younger team at the recently concluded Europe Tour proves that it is time to recalibrate," it said.
 
Mr. Harbinder Singh, Chairman of the Hockey India Selection Committee said, “The committee was convened since we are collectively not satisfied with the Indian Men’s Hockey team’s performance in 2016 and 2017 and feel that wins in Asia can’t be a benchmark for success any more. We need to show results beyond intent in key international tournaments where the sporadic success over the last two years is more incidental than deliberate. To make results a reality, we need to make hard decisions for the greater good of the future of Hockey in India."
 
"The current format of coaching was not showing results beyond a certain level. The committee unanimously agreement that immediate action was required to be taken and while change may not always be comfortable it is essential if we want to position ourselves as a serious global contender for the upcoming critical tournaments in 2018 including the Asian Games & World Cup and 2020 Olympic Games," he added.
 
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The three-day meeting was attended by over 24 members, including Harbinder Singh, B.P Govinda, V. Baskaran, Thoiba Singh, Dr. A.B. Subbaiah, Dr. R.P Singh, Joydeep Kaur, Sardar Singh, P.R Sreejesh, Manpreet Singh, Roelant Oltmans, Jugraj Singh, Arjun Halappa, Hans Streeder, Scott Conway, David John, Elena Norman, Mariamma Koshy, Mohammad Mushtaque Ahmad, Rajinder Singh, Tapan Das, Bhola Nath Singh, Firoz Ansari and Gyanendro Ningombam. 
 
"Inputs were incorporated from all committee members to emerge with focus areas and the way forward for the Indian Men’s Team.
 
"The outcome of the meeting was basis the objective to not only assess the recent performance of the Men’s national team at the World League Semi Final tournament as well as the European Tour but to also take concrete steps towards a winning performance in critical upcoming tournaments including the Asian Games, Commonwealth Games and the World Cup coming up in 2018 and the 2020 Olympic Games," the release added.
 
Oltmans, 63, a Dutch hockey coach, was appointed as the chief coach of the Indian men's team in July 2015 after fellow Dutchman Paul van Ass was removed five months after taking charge.
 
Oltmans, who was then working with Hockey India as its high performance director, had earlier coached the Netherlands to the Olympic gold medal in 1996 and the World Cup title two years later. He was the seventh foreign coach of the Indian team in the last decade.
 
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Empowered Steering Committee to be set up for effective Indian participation in Olympics

The Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports has approved the constitution of an Empowered Steering Committee (ESC) on the basis of the recommendations of the interim report of the Task Force on effective participation of Indian sportspersons in the next three Olympic Games.
 
The Task Force had been set up in January this year for the preparation of a comprehensive action plan, including short-term, medium-term and long-term measures for effective participation of Indian sportspersons in the Olympic Games in Tokyo (2020), Paris (2024) and Los Angeles (2028).
 
The eight-member Task Force had submitted its interim report to Minister of Youth Affairs and Sports Vijay Goel on May 22. The interim report focused on preparations in the short-term for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.
 
Mr. Goel said the ESC would be headed by a Chairperson to be appointed by the Government. 
 
It will also include Indian Olympic Association (IOA) representative (President as memebr and Secretary-General as alternate member); three eminent athletes who have retired from active sports within past 10 years, to be selected from three high priority sports having strong medal prospect at Olympic level; one elite coach from a high priority sport to be selected from amongst the existing Chief Coaches or High Performance Director; three sports scientists, one each from the disciplines of Biomechanics, Sports Nutrition and Sports Psychology; two representatives from Government (one each from Department of Sports and the Sports Authority of India); one high performance director (to be selected through a search committee); and one Chief Executive Officer (to be selected through a search committee).
 
The ESC can co-opt not more than two experts on need basis, Mr. Goel said. It will have a tenure upto December 31, 2020.
 
He said, the terms of reference of the ESC are:
 
(i)    The committee will review the core probable list of each High Priority and Priority disciplines for Commonwealth Games, Asian Games and Olympic Games and make recommendations with respect to additions or deletions, if any;
 
(ii)    Review the Annual Calendar for Training and Competitions (ACTCs) approved by the Government in consultation with the National Sports Federation (NSF) concerned and make specific recommendations with respect to any additional or supplementary requirements.
 
(iii)    Recommend specific plans / packages for TOPS (Target Olympic Podium Scheme) beneficiaries selected by the TOPS committee;
 
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(iv)    Recommend names of national and international training institutions for their empanelment for providing training, coaching and other support to TOPS athletes, including negotiated packages;
 
(v)     Make specific recommendations for strengthening sport sciences within SAI as well as outsourcing sports science support in the short to medium term for providing sports science support to national campers;
 
(vi)    Recommend a panel of names of companies for carrying out athlete monitoring and data analytics work;
 
(vii)    Prepare quality specifications for national camps for different sports disciplines; and monitor the camps;
 
(viii)    Have all SAI Regional Centres duly audited for holding national coaching camps;
 
(ix)     Closely interact with National Observers appointed by the Government for obtaining their recommendations on the various issues;
 
(x)      Assist the Government in mobilizing CSR funds for meeting additional funding requirements for training and preparation of the national team in various sports disciplines;
 
(xi)     Assist the Government in formulating Qualification Requirements (QRs), job description and conducting selection process with the involvement of NSF concerned for inducting professionals, including High Performance Managers, in selected sports disciplines;
 
(xii)    Prepare tailor-made sports specific strategies for selected sports disciplines, including selected para sports disciplines, for improving sports performance in different disciplines in terms of participation, progression and podium finish at the Olympics/Paralympics;
 
(xiii)    Provide advisory support for setting up of Centre of Excellence for Para Sports at Gandhinagar (Gujarat);
 
(xiv)    Develop Key Result Areas for High Priority sports disciplines; and
 
(xv)    Any other task assigned by the Government.
 
 
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Kovind presents National Sports and Adventure Awards

President Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, 2017 to former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh in a ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 29, 2017.
President Ram Nath Kovind presenting the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award, 2017 to former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh in a ceremony, at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 29, 2017.
President Ram Nath Kovind presented the National Sports and Adventue Awards, including the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards, the country's highest sporting honour, to para athlete Devendra Jhajharia and former Indian hockey captain, at a ceremony at Rashtrapati Bhavan here today.
 
Jhajharia, 36, is a javelin thrower who had won gold medals at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. 
 
Sardar Singh, 31, became the youngest player to lead the Indian hockey team in the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament. He remained captain of the team till 2016. The Government had earlier honoured him with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2015.
 
The Dronacharya Awards for coaches were given this year to late Dr. R. Gandhi (Athletics), Heera Nand Kataria (Kabaddi), G.S.S.V. Prasad (Badminton -- Lifetime), Brij Bhushan Mohanty (Boxing -- Lifetime), P.A. Raphael (Hockey -- Lifetime), Sanjoy Chakraverthy (Shooting -- Lifetime) and Roshan Lal (Wrestling -- Lifetime). The award for late Dr. Gandhi was received by Dr. Sailaxmi, his wife.
 
As many as 17 players have been chosen for the prestigious Arjuna Awards 2017, including cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara and Harmanpreet Kaur. Pujara, however, could not be present to receive the award today as he is abroad with the Indian team. He will receive the award later.
 
The other Arjuna Award winners are: V.J. Surekha (Archery); Khushbir Kaur, Arokia Rajiv (Athletics); Prasanthi Singh (Basketball); Laishram Debendro Singh (Boxing); Oinam Bembem Devi (Football); S.S.P. Chawrasia (Golf); S.V. Sunil (Hockey); Jasvir Singh (Kabaddi); P. N. Prakash (Shooting); A. Amalraj (Table Tennis); Saketh Myneni (Tennis); Satyawart Kadian (Wrestling); and Mariyappan and Varun Singh Bhati (Para-Athletes).
 
The Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime contribution to sports development webt this year to Bhupender Singh (Athletics); Syed Shahid Hakim (Football) and Sumarai Tete (Hockey).
 
President Ram Nath Kovind with the winners of the National Sports and Adventure Awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 29, 2017.
President Ram Nath Kovind with the winners of the National Sports and Adventure Awards at Rashtrapati Bhavan, in New Delhi on August 29, 2017.
Apart from a medal and a citation, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees received a cash prize of Rs. 7.5 lakh each. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees received statuettes, certificates and a cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh each.
 
The Tenzing Norgay National Adventure Awards 2017 were conferred on Premlata Agrawal (Land Adventure), Rohan Dattatrey More (Water Adventure) and Ashok Abbey and Ved Prakash Sharma (Lifetime Achievement).
 
The Maulana Abul Kalad Azad Troph 2016-17 was given to Punjabi University, Patiala.
 
The Rashtriya Khel Protsahana Puruskar 2017 was conferred on Kendriya Vidyalaya Sangathan (Identification and Nurturing of Budding and Young Talent); Odisha Industrial Infrastructure Development Corporation (Encouragement to sports through corporate social responsibility) and the Golf Foundation and the Reliance Foundation (Sports for Development).
 
National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four year, Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for four years, Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious International sports events and Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development.
 
The Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice C.K. Thakkar (former Judge Supreme Court of India and former Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal and Bombay). The Selection Committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by well-known badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.'
 
As many as 14 young sports achievers also attended today's ceremony. Four of them are gold medalists from the Asian School Championships for Athletics 2015, one gold medalist from the Asian School Championship for Swimming 2016 and nine gold medalists from the Gymnasiade conducted by the International School Sport Federation in 2016.
 
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Devendra Jhajharia, Sardar Singh chosen for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna 2017

Devendra Jhajharia
Devendra Jhajharia
Para athlete Devendra Jhajharia and former Indian hockey captain Sardar Singh have been chosen for the prestigious Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awards, the country's highest sporting honour as part of the National Sports Awards 2017 announced here today.
 
Jhajharia, 36, is a javelin thrower who had won gold medals at the 2004 Summer Paralympics in Athens and at the 2016 Summer Paralympics in Rio de Janeiro. 
 
Sardar Singh, 31, became the youngest player to lead the Indian hockey team in the 2008 Sultan Azlan Shah Cup tournament. He remained captain of the team till 2016. The Government had earlier honoured him with the Padma Shri, the fourth highest civilian award, in 2015.
 
The Dronacharya Awards for coaches have been given this year to late Dr. R. Gandhi (Athletics), Heera Nand Kataria (Kabaddi), G.S.S.V. Prasad (Badminton -- Lifetime), Brij Bhushan Mohanty (Boxing -- Lifetime), P.A. Raphel (Hockey -- Lifetime), Sanjoy Chakraverthy (Shooting -- Lifetime) and Roshan Lal (Wrestling -- Lifetime).
 
As many as 17 players have been chosen for the prestigious Arjuna Awards 2017, including cricketers Cheteshwar Pujara and Harmanpreet Kaur.
 
The other Arjuna Award winners are: V.J. Surekha (Archery); Khushbir Kaur, Arokia Rajiv (Athletics); Prasanthi Singh (Basketball); Laishram Debendro Singh (Boxing); Oinam Bembem Devi (Football); S.S.P. Chawrasia (Golf); S.V. Sunil (Hockey); Jasvir Singh (Kabaddi); P. N. Prakash (Shooting); A. Amalraj (Table Tennis); Saketh Myneni (Tennis); Satyawart Kadian (Wrestling); and Mariyappan and Varun Singh Bhati (Para-Athletes).
 
The Dhyan Chand Award for lifetime contribution to sports development will go this year to Bhupender Singh (Athletics); Syed Shahid Hakim (Football) and Sumarai Tete (Hockey).
 
Sardar Singh
Sardar Singh
The awardees will receive their awards from the President of India at a function at the Rashtrapati Bhavan on August 29.
 
Apart from a medal and a citation, Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Awardees will receive a cash prize of Rs. 7.5 lakh each. Arjuna, Dronacharya and Dhyan Chand Awardees will received statuettes, certificates and cash prize of Rs. 5 lakh each, an official press release said.
 
National Sports Awards are given every year to recognize and reward excellence in sports. Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award is given for spectacular and most outstanding performance in the field of sports by a sportsperson over a period of four year, Arjuna Award is given for consistently outstanding performance for four years, Dronacharya Award for coaches for producing medal winners at prestigious International sports events and Dhyan Chand Award for life time contribution to sports development.
 
The release said the Selection Committee for Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna Award and Arjuna Awards was headed by Justice C.K. Thakkar (former Judge Supreme Court of India and former Chief Justice of High Court of Himachal and Bombay). The Selection Committee for Dronacharya Awards and Dhyan Chand Awards was headed by well-known badminton coach Pullela Gopichand.
 
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Delhi lad Kshitij Kumar joins Dutch Club NEC Nijmegen U15 squad

Kshitij Kumar (left) and Balaji of Reliance Foundation Young Champs with Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani.
Kshitij Kumar (left) and Balaji of Reliance Foundation Young Champs with Reliance Foundation Chairperson Nita Ambani.
Thirteen-year-old Delhi lad Kshitij Kumar Singh, a prodigy of Reliance Foundation Young Champs, has join the Holland based NEC Nijmegen club for its Under-15 youth squad.
 
NEC Nijmegen is a professional football club which competes in the Dutch Eerste Divisie. Its youth teams features at the highest level in Dutch Youth Leagues and competes against top European clubs in international tournaments.
 
Kshitij, a second year batch student of Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) residential football program, had been to the Netherlands for two rounds of trials with PSV Eindhoven and NEC Nijmegen earlier this year before his selection in the NEC youth team.
 
He started playing football at the age of six initially with Bhaichung Bhutia Academy and then at FCB Escola. The forward was an early talent to be spotted by Piet Hubers, Technical Director of ISL Grassroots at the Delhi Dynamos Scouting Festival for RFYC scholarship in 2016. Since last June with RFYC, Kshitij has participated in 29 competitive and friendly games, scoring 31 goals and provided 25 assists.
 
Mrs. Nita Ambani, Founder Chairperson, Reliance Foundation termed Kshitij’s selection at NEC youth team to be a bench mark for more opportunities for India talents.
 
“We are extremely proud of the progress made by the 48 champions. Children like Kshitij Kumar are the future of Indian football. He is dedicated and disciplined at this young age which makes him a force to reckon with on the ground. We are sure he will pave a way for more scouting from foreign countries in India as well as increase the belief among players here to play in the best leagues in the world," she said.
 
RFYC, started in 2015 has amplified ISL clubs’ grassroots initiatives to spot talented children across the country between the ages of 11 and 14. Through robust talent scouting system, the deserving children are offered full-time residential scholarships by RFYC at Navi Mumbai. Today there are 48 scholars in the RFYC Programme.
 
Speaking on his selection, Kshitij said, “I’m very excited to join NEC Youth team. I want to thank all my coaches and fellow players at RF Young Champs who have motivated me to perform better continuously. I want to thank Mrs. Ambani especially for all her support, and for providing me the opportunity and belief to be the best. I would love to play for the Indian National Team in the future.”
 
Reliance Foundation is actively involved in promoting multiple sports in India through a number of largescale grassroots initiatives, with focus on developing young talent. Its initiatives such as Reliance Foundation Youth Sports (RFYS), Reliance Foundation Young Champs (RFYC) and the Reliance Foundation Junior NBA programme have together impacted the lives of more than 7 million children in India across multiple sports, a press release from the foundation said.
 
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Falcons TTC beat Shaze Challengers to win Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis

Falcons TTC emerged champions won the inaugural Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), the country’s newest franchise sports league, after beating Shazé Challengers 14-9 in the final at the NSCI here on Sunday.
 
According to the tournament rules, in the knockout stage the team that secures 14 points first is declared winner. 
 
Li Ping put Shazé Challengers ahead with a 2-1 win over Sanil Shetty in the men’s singles, the opening match of the tie.
 
However, in-form Wu Yang swept aside Mouma Das (Shazé Challengers) 3-0 in the women’s singles to hand the lead to Falcons TTC 4-2.
 
Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian) and Falcons TTC’s pair of Sanil Shetty and Lee Ho Ching brushed aside Soumyajit Ghosh and Petrissa Solja 3-0 to extend their team’s lead to 7-2.
 
Croatian Andrej Gacina of Shazé Challengers beat Briton  Liam Pitchford 2-1 in the men’s singles (Foreign player category).  Falcons TTC led 8-4 at this stage.
 
Wu Yang then recorded her second 3-0 win of the day to take Falcons TTC closer to victory at 11-4, as she beat China-born German world No 9 Han Ying 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign player category).
 
Liam Pitchford rallied to beat Soumyajit Ghosh (Shazé Challengers) 2-1 in men’s singles to place Falcons TTC at the doorstep of victory at 13-5.
 
However, Han Ying put it across Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-0 to lift Shazé Challengers to 8-13 before Par Gerell rallied to seal the title at 14-9 for Falcons after losing the opening game to Li Ping.
 
While the Mumbai audience turned up in huge numbers to cheer their favourite table tennis stars, the evening also saw an assemblage of celebrities, including Bollywood legend Amitabh Bachchan and his actor-son Abhishek Bachchan, Union Minister Piyush Goyal, Maharashtra Director General of Police Satish Mathur, industrialist Harsh Goenka, former India cricketer Farokh Engineer, actor Rahul Bose and Indian hockey player Yuvraj Walmiki.
 
Awards:
MVP Male - Liam Pitchford - Rs. 1 lakh
MVP Female - Wu Yang - Rs. 1 lakh
Ultimate One - Wu Yang (456 Points) - Rs. 1.5 lakh
 
Results:
Shaze Challengers 9-14 Falcons TTC
 
MS - Li Ping beat Sanil Shetty 2-1 (11-9, 11-10, 7-11)
WS - Mouma Das lost to Wu Yang 3-0 (6-11, 2-11, 3-11)
MD - Soumyajit Ghosh/ Petrissa Solja lost to Sanil Shetty/ Lee Ho Ching 0-3 (9-11, 3-11, 8-11)
MS - Andrej Gacina beat Liam Pitchford 2-1 (11-3, 10-11, 11-7)
WS - Han Ying lost to Wu Yang 0-3 (10-11, 4-11, 8-11)
MS - Soumyajit Ghosh lost to Liam Pitchford 1-2 (11-5, 10-11, 7-11)
WS - Han Ying beat Sutirtha Mukherjee 3-0 (11-4, 11-8, 11-7)
MS - Li Ping - Par Gerell 1-1 (11-8, 9-11)
 
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Table Tennis: It will be Shazé Challengers v Falcons TTC in Ceat UTT final

Han Ying won both her matches and Li Ping held his nerves when it mattered most as Shazé Challengers beat Dabang Smashers TTC 14-9 in the second semi-final of the inaugural Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), the country’s newest franchise sports league, at the NSCI here yesterday evening.
 
Shazé Challengers will lock horns with Falcons TTC in the final of the tournament this evening.
 
The team that secures 14 points first is declared winner in the knockouts. Shazé Challengers had edged out Dabang Smashers 15-12 in the League phase.
 
Portuguese world No 14 Marcos Freitas, a southpaw, put Dabang Smashers ahead with a 2-1 win over attacking 85-ranked Soumyajit Ghosh, who pulled back the third game in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to hand Shazé Challengers one point.
 
In-form China-born German world No 9 Han Ying made it 4-2 for Shazé Challengers as she brushed aside Madhurika Patkar 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian).
 
Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair) and the clash saw Soumyajit Ghosh and his partner Petrissa Solja rally to beat A Amalraj and Tetyana Bilenko 2-1 to extend Shazé Challengers’ lead to 6-3.
 
Croatian Andrej Gacina then edged past China-born Ukraine Kou Lei 2-1 in a closely-fought men’s singles (Foreign player category) clash to further Shazé Challengers lead to 8-4.
 
The experienced Han Ying followed up it up by winning her second match of the day to strengthen Shazé Challengers’ grip on the tie at 10-5, as she rallied to beat North Korean world No 19 Kim Song I 2-1 in the women’s singles (Foreign player category).
 
G Sathiyan pulled off a surprise win over China-born Qatar Li Ping 2-1 in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to hand Dabang Smashers their second win of the day. Shazé Challengers, however, continued to lead at 11-7.
 
Kim Song I (Dabang Smashers) returned to table to thump Mouma Das 2-1 in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian), but the 135-ranked Indian won the close third game to help Shazé Challengers take a step closer to victory at 12-9.
 
Li Ping closed it for Shazé Challengers 14-9 by winning the first two games against Freitas in the men’s singles (Foreign player category), the eighth and penultimate match.
 
Bollywood star Vivek Oberoi, Bajaj Group chairman Rahul Bajaj and former Railways Minister Dinesh Trivedi were amongst those who attended the occasion.
 
Results: Dabang Smashers lost to Shaze Challengers 9-14
MS – Marcos Freitas beat Soumyajit Ghosh 2-1 (11-7, 11-6, 9-11)
WS – Madhurika Patkar lost to Han Ying 0-3 (4-11, 6-11, 7-11)
MD – Amalraj Anthony/ Tetyana Bilenko lost to Soumyajit Ghosh/ Petrissa Solja 1-2 (11-8, 7-11, 5-11), 
MS – Kou Lei lost to Andrej Gacina 2-1 (9-11, 11-6, 7-11)
WS  – Kim Song I lost to Han Ying 1-2 (11-6, 9-11, 10-11)
MS – Sathiyan Gnanasekaran beat Li Ping 2-1 (11-9, 5-11, 11-4)
WS – Kim Song I beat Mouma Das 2-1 (11-4, 11-4, 10-11)
MS  – Marcos Freitas lost to Li Ping 0-2 (9-11, 7-11)
 
 
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Tata Housing, Thane Municipal Corporation begin work on India's largest gymnastics centre

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Real estate developers Tata Housing and Thane Municipal Corporation (TMC) launched the construction India's largest independent gymnastics centre in a ground-breaking ceremony in Thane near here today.
 
Situated on Pokhran Road II, the 1.2 lakh sq. ft. facility with international standards will share its address with Tata Housing's homes project Serein.
 
Those who attended the ceremony included Shiv Sena president Uddhav Thackery and Maharashtra Public Works Minister Eknath Shinde.
 
A press release from Tata Housing said the gymnastics centre will be the largest such facility in India accommodating six disciplines of gymnastics designed on par with international standards. This will also be the country’s first and only centre dedicated to rhythmic gymnastics and is expected to nurture and propel the sport and young talented gymnasts in India into the international arena.
 
The ground-plus-two storey structure will comprise two team rooms with separate areas for players and coaches, a physiotherapy room, a music room, VIP rooms, a jury room, an administration area, a gymnasium, and a yoga room. It will also have a viewers' gallery that will seat up to 300 people.
 
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Goel advises AFI to honour Kerala High Court directive on P U Chitra

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Union Sports Minister Vijay Goel today advised the Atheltics Federation of India (AFI) to honour the Kerala High Court directive to ensure the participation of athlete P. U. Chitra in the 1,500 metres race in the IAAF World Championships to be held in London from August 4.
 
A statement from the Ministry of Sports said here that Mr. Goel talked to AFI President Adille Sumariwalla on the issue and advised him not to contest the directive given by the Kerala High Court as Chitra is otherwise a wild card entry for the World Championship.
 
The Kerala High Court had yesterday directed the AFI to include the Kerala runner in the team for the World Championships.
 
Chitra had won the 1,500 m gold at the Asian Championships in Bhubaneswar, Odisha earlier this month, clocking a personal best of 4:17:92. She had clocked 4:28 in the inter-state meet. The entry standard for the London event is 4:07.
 
The AFI had said earlier that the runner was not included in the 24-member team because she had not met the qualifying mark set by the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF). In her writ petition before the High Court, Chitra argued that her Asian championship win made her an automatic choice for the London meet.
 
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Table Tennis: Wu Yang and Liam Pitchford lead Falcons TTC into final

Wu Yang and Liam Pitchford won both their matches to help Falcons TTC beat DHFL Maharashtra United 14-5 in the first semi-final of the inaugural Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT), the country’s newest franchise sports league, at the NSCI in Mumbai last night.
 
The team that secures 14 points first is declared winner in the knockouts. Falcons had won the League meeting between the two teams by 17-10. 
 
Shazé Challengers will meet Dabang Smashers TTC in the second semi-final on Saturday, with the final to be played on Sunday.
 
Hong Kong world No 8 Wong Chun Ting put Maharashtra United ahead with a 2-1 win over southpaw Sanil Shetty, ranked 201 in the world, in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian), the opening match of the tie.
 
However, Chinese world No 13 Wu Yang brushed aside 279-ranked Pooja Sahasrabudhe Koparkar (Maharashtra United) 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian) for Falcons TTC to move 4-2 ahead on points.
 
Up next was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair) and DHFL Maharashtra United’s pair of Harmeet Desai  and the experienced Fu Yu edged out Sanil Shetty and his partner  Lee Ho Ching 2-1 to reduce their margin of deficit to 4-5.
 
Briton Pitchford pulled off an upset win over Wong Chun Ting 2-1 in the men’s singles (Foreign player category) to extend Falcons’ lead to 7-5.
 
Chinese ace Wu won her second outing of the day as she put it past China-born Austrian world No 22 Liu Jia 3-0 in the women’s singles (Foreign player category) to take Falcons a step closer to victory, at 10-5.
 
Pitchford then won his second match of the day, beating Harmeet Desai 3-0 in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to move Falcons to 13-5, one point way from victory.
 
Sutirtha Mukherjee won the opening game against Liu Jia in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian) 11-10 to seal the tie for Falcons TTC.
 
Earlier in the evening, Mrs Nita Mukesh Ambani, Founder and Chairperson of Reliance Foundation and India’s only woman member in the International Olympic Committee (IOC) graced the semi-final.
 
Apart from watching the matches in the 1st Semi-Final, Mrs. Ambani also interacted with some of the Indian paddlers. She met with India's Olympian Sharath Kamal, four-time Paralympic Gold Medalist Natalia Partyka, Olympian Kim Song I and India's young sensation Archana Kamath. 
 
Results:
Falcons TTC lead DHFL Maharashtra United 14-5
 
MS – Sanil Shetty lost to Wong Chun Ting 1-2 (8-11, 11-5, 3-11)
WS – Wu Yang beat Pooja Sahasrabudhe Koparkar 3-0 (11-2, 11-4, 11-2)
MD – Sanil Shetty/ Lee Ho Ching lost to Harmeet Desai/ Fu Yu 1-2 (6-11, 11-5, 5-11), 
MS – Liam Pitchford beat Wong Chun Ting 2-1 (11-8, 9-11, 11-4)
WS – Wu Yang beat bt Liu Jia 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-6)
MS - Liam Pitchford beat Harmeet Desai 3-0 (11-6, 11-10, 11-7)
WS - Sutirtha Mukherjee beat Liu Jia 1-0 (11-10)
 
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TT: It’s Falcons v Maharashtra United, Shazé Challengers v Dabang Smashers in the semis

Shazé Challengers rallied to beat RP-SG Mavericks 15-12 in the concluding league tie of the inaugural Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the NSCI in Mumbai on Thursday to qualify for the knockouts of the country’s newest franchise sports league.
 
Falcons TTC finished on top of the six-team League table with 78 points, followed by Shazé Challengers (73), Dabang Smashers TTC (69), DHFL Maharashtra United (64), Oilmax Stag Yoddhas (61) and RP-SG Mavericks (60).
 
Falcons TTC will take on DHFL Maharashtra United in the first semi-final on Friday and Shazé Challengers will meet Dabang Smashers TTC in the second semi-final on Saturday. The final will be held on Sunday. 
 
In the knockouts, teams will play only up to such time that one team is winner, having secured 14 points.
 
RP-SG Mavericks opened with a 2-1 win after Indian ace A Sharath Kamal put it past Croatian world No 46 Andrej Gacina (Shazé Challengers) 11-7, 1-11, 11-7 in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian). 
 
German Sabine Winter made it 4-2 for RP-SG Mavericks by winning the first two games in the women’s singles (Foreign v Indian) against Mouma Das but the 135-ranked Bengal lass pulled one back to score Shazé Challengers’ second point.
 
Next up was mixed doubles (Foreign/Indian pair) which RP-SG Mavericks’ pair of Sharath Kamal/ Sofia Polcanova won 2-1 (11-7, 11-5, 9-11) but Li Ping and Mouma Das picked a crucial point for Shazé Challengers by winning the third game, even as RP-SG Mavericks led 6-3.
 
Austrian Stefan Fegerl extended RP-SG Mavericks’ lead to 8-4 with a 2-1 (2-11, 11-7, 11-8) win over Gacina in the men’s singles (Foreign player category).
 
Winter won her second outing of the day when she beat fellow German Petrissa Solja 2-1 (11-10, 4-11, 11-6) in the women’s singles (Foreign player category) as RP-SG Mavericks moved to a commanding 10-5 lead.
 
Soumyajit Ghosh then recorded Shazé Challengers’ first win of the day when he rallied to beat Fegerl 2-1 (9-11, 11-10, 11-8) in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian) to reduce his team’s margin of deficit to 7-11. China-born German world No 9 Han Ying brushed aside 17-year-old Archana Girish Kamath, ranked 217 in the world, 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-4) to help narrow down Shazé Challengers’ deficit down to one point (10-11).
 
China-born Qatar world No 42 Li Ping beat Portuguese world No 31 Tiago Apolonia 3-0 (11-4, 11-9, 11-10) in the men’s singles (Foreign player category) as Shazé Challengers took the lead for the first time in the tie, at 13-11. Han Ying then won her second match of the day when she beat Austrian Sofia Polcanova in the women’s singles (Foreign player category) 2-1 (11-3, 11-7, 10-11) to seal the tie for Shazé Challengers.
 
Results:
RP-SG Mavericks lost to Shazé Challengers 12-15 
 
MS – A Sharath Kamal beat Andrej Gacina 2-1 (11-7, 1-11, 11-7)
WS – Sabine Winter beat Mouma Das  2-1 (11-8, 11-9, 8-11)
MD – Sharath Kamal/ Sofia Polcanova beat Li Ping/ Mouma Das  2-1 (11-7, 11-5, 9-11),
MS – Stefan Fegerl beat Andrej Gacina 2-1 (2-11, 11-7, 11-8)
WS  – Petrissa Solja lost to Sabine Winter 1-2 (10-11, 11-4, 11-6)
MS – Stefan Fegerl lost to Soumyajit Ghosh 1-2 (11-9, 10-11, 8-11)
WS – Archana Kamath lost to Han Ying 0-3 (5-11, 6-11, 4-11)
MS – Tiago Apolonia lost to Li Ping 0-3 (4-11, 9-11, 10-11)
WS – Sofia Polcanova Han Ying 1-2 (3-11, 8-11, 11-10)
 
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Falcons TTC lead DHFL Maharashtra United in key tie for knockout spots

Falcons TTC held a slender 7-5 lead over DHFL Maharashtra United after four matches in the ongoing tie as the race for knockout spots heated up in the Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the NSCI in Mumbai on Wednesday.
 
Briton Liam Pitchford put Falcons ahead with a 3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-9) win over Harmeet Desai (Maharashtra United) in the men’s singles, the tie’s opening clash.
 
Sutirtha Mukherjee rallied strongly to pull off a surprise 2-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9) win over China-born Portuguese international Fu Yu (Maharashtra United) in the women’s singles to extend Falcons’ lead to 5-1.
 
Next up was mixed doubles where Harmeet Desai and his China-born Austrian partner Liu Jia of DHFL Maharashtra United won the opening two games before Sanil Shetty and Lee Ho Ching pulled one back for Falcons TTC, who led 6-3.
 
Portuguese Joao Monteiro of DHFL Maharashtra United won the first two games convincingly but Sweden’s Par Gerell clinched the third in the men’s singles to help Falcons TTC stay ahead at 7-5. Five more matches remain in the ongoing tie.
 
With the final leg of India's first ever professional league CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis moving to Mumbai -- the city where the league was conceptualized, the event kicked off in grandeur with batting legend Sachin Tendulkar and Bollywood icon Abhishek Bachchan gracing the match between Falcons TTC and DHFL Maharashtra United here at the NSCI Stadium on Wednesday. On Thursday, Shazé Challengers will lock horns with RP-SG Mavericks in the final tie of the league stage.
 
Results:
After four matches - Falcons TTC 7-5 DHFL Maharashtra United 
 
MS – Liam Pitchford beat Harmeet Desai  3-0 (11-6, 11-4, 11-9)
WS – Sutirtha Mukherjee beat Fu Yu 2-1 (7-11, 11-5, 11-9) 
MD – Sanil Shetty/ Lee Ho Ching lost to Harmeet Desai/ Liu Jia 1-2 (10-11, 10-11, 11-5)
MS – Par Gerell lost to Joao Monteiro 1-2 (5-11, 10-11, 11-8)
 
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Table Tennis: Gacina, Han Ying lead Shazé Challengers to 15-12 win over DHFL Maharashtra United

Croatian Andrej Gacina, the captain of Shaze Challengers, in action during their tie against DHFL Maharashtra United in the Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis tournament in New Delhi on July 24, 2017.
Croatian Andrej Gacina, the captain of Shaze Challengers, in action during their tie against DHFL Maharashtra United in the Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis tournament in New Delhi on July 24, 2017.
Andrej Gacina and Han Ying won both their matches to help Shazé Challengers beat DHFL Maharashtra United 15-12 on day 12 of the CEAT Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the Thyagaraj Stadium in New Delhi on Monday.
 
Croatian world No. 46 Gacina provided Challengers a 3-0 lead with a dominant 11-6, 11-9, 11-5 win over Surat-born world No. 79 Harmeet Desai in the men’s singles, the opening match.
 
However, Fu Yu, ranked 37 in the world, staged a come-from-behind win over world No. 135 Mouma Das of Challengers 2-1 (5-11, 11-7, 11-7) in the women’s singles to secure Maharashtra United’s first points in the tie (2-4).
 
The third match was mixed doubles and Harmeet Desai/ Liu Jia of  Maharashtra United won the first two games 11-5 and 11-2 before Soumyajit Ghosh/ Petrissa Solja pulled one back 11-7 to keep Challengers ahead at 5-4.
 
Gacina then put it across Portuguese world No. 48 Joao Monteiro, a southpaw, 2-1 (11-6, 11-9, 7-11) in the men’s singles to give Challengers an edge. Five more matches remain in the ongoing tie.
 
Maharashtra United regained the lead, 8-7, through a sensational performance by China-born Austrian international Liu Jia who beat German Petrissa Solja 3-0 (11-5, 11-5, 11-10) in the women’s singles.
 
Subsequently, Hong Kong world No. 8 Wong Chun Ting quelled a serious challenge from Soumyajit Ghosh of Challengers 2-1 (11-8, 2-11, 11-9) in the men’s singles to extend Maharashtra United’s lead to 10-8.
 
But in another turnaround Han Ying drubbed Maharashtra United’s Pooja Sahasrabudhe Koparkar 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-5) in the women’s singles to hand back the lead 11-10 to Challengers.
 
Li Ping rallied to beat higher-ranked Wong Chun Ting 2-1 (6-11, 11-9, 11-8) in the men’s singles to further extend Challengers’ lead to 13-11.
 
The tie went down the wire, the women’s singles that pitted Han Ying and Fu Yu was the final match. Han Ying won 2-1 (11-7, 11-5, 8-11) to seal it for Shazé Challengers.
 
After four completed league rounds for all teams, Falcons TTC lead the table with 61 points, followed by Shazé Challengers (58), Dabang Smashers (55), Maharashtra United (54), Oilmax Stag Yoddhas (48) and RP-SG Mavericks (48).
 
On Tuesday, Oilmax Stag Yoddhas will lock horns with Dabang Smashers T.T.C. in their respective fifth and final round league fixture.
 
Results:
Shazé Challengers 15-12 DHFL Maharashtra United
 
MS – Andrej Gacina beat Harmeet Desai 3-0 (11-6, 11-9, 11-6)
WS – Mouma Das lost to Fu Yu 1-2 (11-5, 7-11, 7-11)
MD – Soumyajit Ghosh/ Petrissa Solja lost to Harmeet Desai/ Liu Jia 1-2 (5-11, 2-11, 11-7
MS – Andrej Gacina beat Joao Montiero 2-1 (11-6, 11-9, 7-11)
WS – Petrissa Solja lost to Liu Jia 0-3 (5-11, 5-11, 10-11)
MS – Soumyajit Ghos lost to Wong Chun Ting 1-2 (8-11, 11-2, 9-11)
WS – Han Ying beat Pooja Sahasrabudhe 3-0 (11-3, 11-7, 11-5)
MS – Li Ping beat Wong Chun Ting 2-1 (6-11, 11-9, 11-8)
MS – Han Ying beat Fu Yu 2-1 (11-7, 11-5, 8-11)
 
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Table Tennis: Oilmax Stag Yoddhas beat RP-SG Mavericks 16-11

Manika Batra of Oilmax Stag Yoddhas in action during their match against RP-SG Mavericks in the Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis tournament in New Delhi, on July 23, 2017.
Manika Batra of Oilmax Stag Yoddhas in action during their match against RP-SG Mavericks in the Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis tournament in New Delhi, on July 23, 2017.
Doo Hoi Kem, Manika Batra and Quadri Aruna recorded crucial wins to lead Oilmax Stag Yoddhas to a 16-11 win over RP-SG Mavericks in the 11th tie of the Ceat Ultimate Table Tennis (UTT) at the Thyagaraj Stadium here on Sunday.
 
Portugal world No. 31 Tiago Apolonia provided Mavericks with a solid start, as he thumped Indian southpaw Jubin Kumar 3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-9) in the men’s singles (Foreign v Indian), the day’s opening match.
 
Doo Hoi Kem, however, squared it 3-3 for Yoddhas as she overcame 17-year-old Indian Archana Kamath 3-0 (11-9, 11-3, 11-6) in the in the women’s singles (Indian v Foreign).
 
Quadri Aruna/ Manika Batra quelled a spirited challenge by RP-SG Mavericks’ A Sharath Kamal/ Sofia Polcanova 2-1 (11-10, 8-11, 11-8) in the mixed doubles  to put Oilmax Stag Yoddhas ahead 5-4.
 
However, Apolonia won his second match of the day when he brushed aside Croatian Tomislav Pucar 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-5) in the men’s singles to hand Mavericks a 7-5 lead after four matches.
 
Subsequently, Doo Hoi Kem beat Austrian world No 44 Polcanova 3-0 (11-9, 11-7, 11-5) in the women’s singles (Foreign player category) for her second victory for the day to help Yoddhas regain the lead at 8-7.
 
Sharath Kamal levelled it at 9-all for RP-SG Mavericks with a 2-1 (11-5, 11-3, 6-11) win over Pucar in the men’s singles as the tie looked headed for a keen finish.
 
Batra pulled off a spectacular 2-1 (11-10, 9-11, 11-6) win over Sabine Winter (RP-SG Mavericks) in the women’s singles as Yoddhas edged ahead 11-10 with two more matches remaining.
 
Aruna made it 14-10 for Yoddhas as he overpowered Stefan Fegerl 3-0 (11-8, 11-0, 11-5) in the men’s singles.
 
Russian Polina Mikhailova rallied to beat Winter 2-1 (10-11, 11-7, 11-9) in the women’s singles to help Yoddhas seal the tie 16-11.
 
On Monday, DHFL Maharashtra United will meet Shazé Challengers in their fourth round encounter.
 
Results:
RP-SG Mavericks 11-16 Oilmax Stag Yoddhas
 
MS – Tiago Apolonia beat Jubin Kumar  3-0 (11-5, 11-6, 11-9)
WS – Archana Kamath lost to Doo Hoi Kem 0-3 (9-11, 3-11, 6-11) 
MD – Sharath Kamal/ Sofia Polcanova lost to Quadri Aruna/ Manika Batra 1-2 (10-11, 11-8, 11-8)
MS – Tiago Apolonia beat Tomislav Pucar 3-0 (11-5, 11-9, 11-5)
WS – Sofia Polcanova lost to Doo Hoi Kem 0-3 (9-11, 7-11, 5-11)
MS – Sharath Kamal beat Tomislav Pucar 2-1 (11-5, 11-3, 6-11)
WS – Sabine Winter lost to Manika Batra 1-2 (10-11, 11-9, 6-11)
MS – Stefan Fegerl lost to Quadri Aruna 0-3 (8-11, 10-11, 5-11)
WS – Sabine Winter lost Polina Mikhailova 1-2 (11-10, 7-11, 9-11)
 
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